The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs. Other types include peritoneal mesothelioma (affecting the abdomen), pericardial mesothelioma (affecting the heart), and mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis (affecting the testicles).
The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer. Some of the common symptoms may include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent cough
- Fatigue or weakness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling or lumps in the abdomen
- Abdominal pain
- Bowel obstruction
- Pericardial effusion (fluid buildup around the heart) in cases of pericardial mesothelioma
It’s essential to note that symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until several decades after exposure to asbestos, which is the primary risk factor for developing this cancer. Asbestos exposure history should be taken seriously when evaluating potential mesothelioma symptoms.
If someone has been exposed to asbestos and experiences any of these symptoms, they should seek medical attention promptly for proper diagnosis and treatment. Early detection can significantly impact treatment options and prognosis.